MIN 11, TB 8: Twins Get a Scare on Friday the 13th, Prevail over Pesky Rays
Image courtesy of © Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Jake Odorizzi: 27 Game Score, 4.1 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 58.4% strikes
Bullpen: 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 K, 1 BB
Lineup: 6-for-13 w/RISP, 7 LOB
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Grossman .125, Cave .124, Mauer .100
WPA of -0.1 or lower: None
Things got off to such a wonderful start. The Twins scored four runs on six hits in the first inning. They added four more runs in the third, with the big blow coming in the form of a Joe Mauer three-run homer. You build an 8-1 lead in the third and it should be easy sailing from there, right?
The Rays did not go down quietly. Not. Even. Close.
They added a run in the fourth before putting together a four-run inning of their own in the fifth. Another run in the sixth brought them back within a run.
The Twins’ lineup just kept on rolling, however, as Brian Dozier hit a leadoff double, was driven in on an Eduardo Escobar single and then Esky scored on a Robbie Grossman double to give Minnesota a three-run cushion.
Then, Trevor Hildenberger delivered what the Twins really needed: A clean inning. After Tampa Bay had scored in four consecutive frames, Hildy came in and struck out the side. Obviously this was a night where the offense shined, but Trevor coming in and slamming the door like that really seemed to represent the stomping out of any comeback the Rays were going to mount. Zach Duke followed with a clean eighth.
These last three games have reminded me a lot of the 2017 second half Twins. Tons of crooked numbers coming from the bats. They’re not stringing together single runs in innings or just scoring on homers, they’re stringing things together and delivering with runners on.
There were a ton of contributors, as you’d expect from a game in which 11 runs are scored on 15 hits, but Jake Cave was particularly impressive. He hit an RBI single over the shortstop in the first, a double to the left-center gap that plated another run in the third and then led off the seventh with a triple he pulled into the right-center gap. He’s now hitting .324 with a .928 OPS.
Mauer drove in four and Grossman reached base safely four times, going 3-for-3 with a walk.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
AL Central Standings
MIN 43-49 (-7.5)
DET 40-56 (-12.5)
CHW 31-61 (-19.5)
KC 26-66 (-24.5)
Next Three Games
Sat vs. TB, 1:10 pm CT: Jose Berrios vs. Chris Archer
Sun vs. TB, 1:10 pm CT: TBD
Fri, July 20 at KC
Last Three Games
MIN 5, TB 1: Who’s the Snub?
MIN 8, KC 5: Twins Recover from Rough Start
KC 9, MIN 4: Slegers Slayed by Royals
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